How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Talk about something topical.
Discuss recent news. Offer an opinion on what has happened in the world, the country or your town or city recently.
Talk about something that has been announced and is going to happen. Speculate about what that might be.
Ask the other person if they have heard the story in question (if not, tell it to them).
Talk about something that has happened to you recently. Tell it as a story.
Ask the other person what has happened to them of late. Probe the story they tell.
Did you hear about the fire down town? It was right over the road from the fire station, but apparently they still took five minutes to get there...
I just heard that CEO is coming to the office next week. Last time he came he fired five people. Do you know why he would want to visit us?
My daughter passed all her exams -- I'm so relieved. She was really not working well last year...
Recent news is often of particular interest to other people, for example because it has some personal impact or because the general subject area is of interest.
When people have heard or seen different versions of the same story, this gives something to discuss further, perhaps exploring the differences between the stories.
Controversial subjects (such as sex, politics, religion or war) also give the potential for discussion of opinion--or even heated debate.